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Weather Or Not
Marg-Ins 5-3-23

Just when we were getting used to all that rain and overcast skies, let’s welcome in 90-degree weather without any transition time whatsoever.

But don’t get too used to the heat because the forecast for early May shows the chance for (surprise!) a little more rain and temperatures dropping back into the mid- to upper 60s and lower 70s during the day.

It reminds me of my childhood, back in the Empire State. Where we lived, about 40 miles outside Albany in upstate New York, the joke was always “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.”

That definitely still holds true today; my weekly check-ins with my dad cover a wide variety of topics and weather is inevitably one of them. I try to keep tabs on what is happening on the East Coast. Mid-April, he and the rest of my family still back there were enjoying very warm spring weather, rivaling our mid-70s. After a couple of days of that, my dad said he woke up the next morning to an inch or two of snow on the ground. Yup, just wait a minute.

The weather here, however, did cooperate for all the ‘Love’ events on April 29 and it just was a day of affirming goodness. Volunteers turning out in our communities of Oakdale, Riverbank and Escalon for the formal ‘Love’ events and also a community beautification effort in Valley Home; plus an earlier clean-up day in Knights Ferry; it provides a great way to get involved and truly invest in where you live.

Community service projects of all types and sizes were offered and teams, or a crew of two in some cases, set out to do the work needed. Donating a few hours of time on a sunny Saturday morning in late April, the work done by the volunteers in all our communities will pay dividends well beyond the hours they spent pulling weeds, painting park benches, building fences or making home repairs for seniors. The value of volunteerism should never be taken for granted.

The best part is getting some of the younger generation involved in these types of community service efforts. We have lots of school-based clubs that often require some type of service hours for their members and hopefully that sets the stage for continuing that spirit of volunteerism in later life.

Some of the most fun I have had has been through those types of activities. Taking part in the March of Dimes walkathon with friends while in high school to raise money for combatting birth defects was a yearly ‘must-do’ on the list. Another time, my high school best friend and I did a unique fundraiser at our local Jamesway (kind of an East Coast Kmart equivalent) as roller skating clowns. I am sure that kind of thing would never happen today, too much liability, but back then, the store management allowed us to roller skate through the store in our full clown gear, soliciting donations. We both did puppetry and clowning for birthday parties and community events and turned our clown routine into a fundraiser.

I’ve also talked about my years with the American Cancer Society back east, helping put on the Halloween in Howe Caverns event where we turned one of the most famous tourist attractions in the county into a huge spook house for a night. Not hard to do when it’s a cave. And now, my continued involvement with Relay For Life. It’s about so much more than raising money; it is making those connections, bringing awareness, establishing friendships that last through the years and sharing your passion with someone else. And just like the ‘Love Our Communities’ initiative, the more people that get involved, the greater your chance for success.


Marg Jackson is editor of The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.